LUSAKA, March 2 — It is a dream of almost every young university student in Zambia to get a well-paying job. That is the dream that Lisa Sakala started chasing immediately after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration from the University of Zambia.
After five years of trying all her best to find a job, Sakala a youth based in Zambia’s capital Lusaka, decided to take a break from job hunting and just help busy family members and friends with their personal errands.
She soon became good at doing pick-ups and deliveries, serving as a personal assistant when needed, and shopping for her peers and others for which she was given a minimal token of appreciation.
Little did she know that her decision to help run errands for others would lead to the establishment of a company that today employs the services of four other youths.
“One day, a friend posted something on social media about my errand running skills including my contact details. The response was beyond overwhelming and it was then that I realized that I could make a decent living from the services,” she said.
Sakala went on to register a company called Nitumeni, which means “send me” in the local language that specializes in services that include delivering and picking up laundry and gift packs, grocery shopping as well as businesses and company registration among other things.
“It has been little over a year since Nitumeni services were registered and it is growing steadily. We will soon be adding to its range of services special trucks that will help with shifting for individuals and companies,” she added.
According to Sakala, the greatest hindrance to youth employment is not lack of opportunities but lack of creativity and innovation, a situation that is further compounded by the belief that employment opportunities are only to be found in and created by the government and other well-established entities.
“There are a lot of employment opportunities that go begging which youths can take advantage of instead of lamenting about high unemployment levels. My story is testimony that there exists vast employment opportunities outside the usual job spheres,” she explained.